Young Palestinian Refugees Join Jihadists Fighting in Syria

21 Nov 2013   Instability, Syria

Inside Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, disaffected and unemployed youth are increasingly joining radical Islamist groups fighting in Syria, saying it gives their lives a sense of purpose. The growing hold of the jihadists is evident on the street at the camp’s entrance, lined with flags of al Qaeda-linked groups that operate in Lebanon or Syria. Homes on Tawareq Street are pockmarked by bullets and rocket-propelled grenades—scars of recent fighting between Islamist militants and the Lebanese army. The camp’s ties to jihadist groups fighting in Syria came into sharp relief on Tuesday. The head of the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed 25 people outside Iran’s Embassy in Beirut lived in the camp for a time and the brigade operated openly there. The group linked the bombing to the conflict in Syria. The youth of Ain el-Hilweh, Lebanon’s most radicalized camp, have largely […]

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